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Welcome to the Doberman Pinscher dog microsite. This page contains detailed information on the breed. From this point you can use the above tabs to navigate to the other Doberman Pinscher pages.

- Kitt Killion

Doberman Pinscher Breed Information

Alternative names Dobermann Country of origin - Germany

Common nicknames - Dobe, Dobie

Classification and breed standards

FCI:|Group 2 Section 1 #143|Stds
AKC:|Working|Stds
ANKC:|Group 6 (Utility)|Stds
CKC:|Group 3 - Working Dogs|Stds
KC (UK):|Working|Stds
NZKC:|Utility|Stds
UKC:|Guardian Dogs|Stds

The Doberman Pinscher (alternatively spelled Dobermann in many countries) or Doberman is a breed of domestic dog. Doberman Pinschers are among the most common of pet breeds, and the breed is well known as an intelligent, alert, and loyal companion dog. Although once commonly used as guard dogs, watch dogs, or police dogs, this is less common today. In many countries, Doberman Pinschers are one of the most recognizable breeds, in part because of their actual roles in society, and in part because of media stereotyping (see temperament). Careful breeding has improved the disposition of this breed, and the modern Doberman Pinscher is an energetic and lively breed ideally suited for companionship and family life. 1. Quick Facts

Doberman Pinscher Quick Facts

Weight: | 75-100 for males, 60-85 for females lb
Height: | 24-28 in
Coat: | Short, coarse
Coat (cont): | stiff to touch
Activity level: | High
Learning rate: | Very High
Temperament: | Gentle, loving, loyal, protective
Guard dog ability: |Very High
Watch-dog ability: | Very High
Litter size: | 3-8
Life span: | 8-12 years

2. Appearance

The Doberman Pinscher is a dog of medium size. Although the breed standards vary among kennel and breed clubs, the shoulder height of a Doberman Pinscher bitch is typically somewhere between 24 to 26 inches, 25.5 being ideal(61 to 68 cm), and the male typically stands between 26 to 28 inches 27.5 being ideal(66 to 72 cm). The male generally weighs between 75 and 90 pounds and the bitch between 60 and 75 pounds. There is often a slight difference in type between bitches and dogs, with males being decidedly masculine (but not coarse) and females being noticeably feminine (but not spindly).

Doberman Pinschers typically have a deep, broad chest, and a powerful, compact, and square muscular body of medium size. However, in recent years some breeders have primarily bred, shown, and sold a slimmer or more sleek-looking Doberman Pinscher. This has become a popular body type among many owners, especially those who show their Doberman Pinschers competitively. The traditional body type is still more desirable to many casual owners and to those who want the dog for protection. Dogs bred to the ideal standard are bred to possess a body to meet the , "Breed type, " which is to say they are bred to withstand the physical rigors for which the breed was originally intended. The working abilities of endurance, jumping, climbing, pouncing, etc. Furthermore, despite the "ideal" standards, it is impossible to have complete control over the size and weight of dogs. Generally speaking, show animals must fall within the ideal range of both size and weight (for that country's breed standard), but it is not unusual to find male Dobes weighing over 100 pounds or females that are also larger than called for by the breed standards. Those who are looking for a Doberman Pinscher to provide personal protection or for use in police agencies or the military generally seek out the larger examples and some breeders create specific breeding pairs in the hope of getting a litter of larger dogs.

2. 1. Color

Most people know the most common black color of a Doberman Pinscher. However, two different color genes exist in the Doberman, one for black (B) and one for color dilution (D), which provides for four different color phenotypes: black, red, blue, and fawn (Isabella). The traditional and most common color occurs when both the color and dilution genes have at least one dominant allele (BB, Bb, or bB and DD, Dd, or dD), and is commonly referred to as black or black and rust (also called black and tan). The most common color variation occurs when the black gene has two recessive alleles (bb) but where the dilution gene has at least one dominant allele (DD, Dd, or dD), which produces what is called a red or red and rust Doberman Pinscher in America and a "brown" Doberman in the rest of the world, which is a deep reddish-brown with rust markings.

The remaining two colors, "blue" and "fawn", are controlled by the color dilution gene. In the case of the blue Doberman, the color gene has at least one dominant allele (BB, Bb, or bB), but the dilution gene has both recessive alleles (dd). The fawn (Isabella) is the least common color and occurs when both the color and dilution genes have two recessive alleles (bb and dd). Thus, the blue color is a diluted black, and the fawn color is a diluted red.

Since 1994 the blue and fawn colors have been banned from breeding by the Dobermann Verein in Germany and under FCI regulations Blue and Fawn are considered disqualifying faults in the international showring.

In 1976, a "white" Doberman Pinscher bitch was whelped, and was subsequently bred to her son, who was also bred to his litter sisters. This tight inbreeding continued for some time to allow the breeders to "fix" the mutation, which has been widely marketed (beware of breeders selling their white Dobermans as "special" or "unique" for ridiculous prices). Doberman Pinschers of this color possess a genetic mutation, which prevents its pigment proteins from being manufactured, regardless of the genotypes of either of the two color genes; that is, it is an albino. Though some potential Doberman Pinscher owners find the color attractive, albino Doberman Pinschers, like albinos of other species, face increased risk of diseases and because of this and because of abnormal development of the retina, should avoid sun exposure as much as possible. The popularity of the "white" Doberman Pinscher has decreased dramatically as these risks have become known, with many people having called for an end to the breeding and marketing of the white Doberman Pinscher because they perceive it as cruelty to the animal. They are also not a correct representation of the breed, with many having unpredictable temperaments, and serious behavioral problems. Some countries have made the purposeful breeding of the white Doberman illegal, but breeders who care and take note of the ancestors can avoid breeding albinos as they are all descended from the original female. A list of every descendent of the original albino-producing dogs is available so that breeders can avoid producing this mutant dog. The American Kennel Club registers albino Doberman Pinschers but disqualifies them from conformation shows, and the Doberman Pinscher Club of America has actively worked to discourage breeding to obtain albino Doberman Pinschers.

2. 2. Tails

Although the Doberman Pinscher has most commonly been seen with a short tail, it is actually born with a tail that is longer than many breeds'. The short tail is the result of docking, a procedure in which the majority of the tail is surgically removed within days of the dog's birth. Today, docking is illegal in many countries, but not in North America, France, Russia, Japan and a number of other countries with large Doberman populations. One argument for docking the Doberman's tail is that it completes the sleek look that the dog is supposed to have, since it was the way Louis Dobermann had originally envisioned the dog, even though nature did not.

Few potential owners have a choice on the length of their Doberman Pinscher's tail, as docking is normally done soon after the dog's birth. This means that the breeder nearly always makes the decision before their dogs are even put on the market.

2. 3. Ears

Doberman Pinschers will often have their ears cropped, a procedure that is functionally related to both the traditional guard duty and to effective sound localization. Like tail docking, ear cropping is illegal in many countries, and in these Doberman Pinschers have natural ears. Doberman Pinscher ear cropping is usually done between 7 and 9 weeks of age. Cropping done after 12 weeks has a low rate of success in getting the ears to stand. Some Doberman Pinscher owners prefer not to have their pet's ears cropped because the procedure is painful for the animal. The process involves trimming off part of the animal's ears and propping them up with posts and tape bandages, which allows the cartilage to develop into an upright position as the puppy grows. The puppy will still have the ability to lay the ears back or down. The process of posting the ears generally takes about a month, but longer show crops can take several months.

After the initial surgery has been done, the ears are taped. Ear taping uses posts to keep the ears straight in the upright position, allowing them to grow and strengthen the cartilage. There are many variables involved such as crop size, infection, healing, post choice, tape choice, time, etc.

The traditional Doberman has always been the one that has had both tail and ears cropped. Although a number of countries such as Russia, Japan, Italy, United States and France to name a few still allow docking and cropping, it's illegal in some countries as well. In some breed shows Doberman Pinschers are allowed to compete with either cropped or uncropped ears. In Germany a cropped or docked dog cannot be shown regardless of country of origin.

3. Temperament

Doberman Pinschers are, in general, a gentle, loyal, loving, and highly intelligent breed. Although there is variation in temperament, a typical pet Doberman attacks only if it has been mistreated or believes that it, its property, or its family are in danger. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, the Doberman Pinscher is less frequently involved in attacks on humans resulting in fatalities than several other dog breeds such as pit bull-type dogs, German Shepherd Dogs, Rottweilers and Alaskan Malamutes. Those familiar with the breed consider well-bred and properly socialized Doberman Pinschers to be excellent pets and companions, suitable for families with other dog breeds, excellent with young children, and even cats. The modern Doberman Pinscher is well known as a loyal and devoted family member.

The Doberman Pinscher has been used as a protection and guard dog, due to its intelligence, loyalty, and ability to physically challenge human aggressors. Doberman Pinschers were once commonly used in police work and in the military. The breed was used extensively by the U.S. Marines in World War II, and 25 Marine War Dogs died in the Battle of Guam in 1944: there is a memorial in Guam in honor of these Doberman Pinschers. In these roles, they inspire fear. They are often stereotyped in such roles in movies (where they are trained to exhibit seemingly "aggressive" behavior), and video games, consequently many people are afraid of the breed. A related problem is the misunderstanding of their legitimate roles; because guard dogs are trained to neutralize unwelcome intruders, many people mistakenly believe that Doberman Pinschers are vicious. Due to these misconceptions it is not uncommon to see this breed mentioned in forms of breed specific legislation.

4. Health

An average, healthy Doberman Pinscher is expected to live about 10 years. Common health problems are dilated cardiomyopathy, wobbler disease, von Willebrand's disease (a bleeding disorder for which there is genetic testing). Other problems that are less severe or seen less frequently include:

* Hypothyroidism
* Cancer
* Progressive retinal atrophy
* Cataracts
* Glaucoma
* Copper toxicosis
* Color dilution alopecia in blues and fawns
* Hip dysplasia
* Peripheral neuropathy ("Dancing Doberman disease", very rare)

5. History

Doberman Pinschers were first bred in Germany around 1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. After his death in 1894, the Germans named the breed Dobermann-pinscher in his honor, but a half century later dropped the pinscher on the grounds that this German word for terrier was no longer appropriate. The British did the same thing a few years later. Dobermann was a tax collector who frequently traveled through many bandit-infested areas, and needed a protection dog to guard him in any situation that might arise. He set out to breed a new type of dog that, in his opinion, would be the perfect combination of strength, loyalty, intelligence, and ferocity. (He also worked with dogs in his second job as local dog-impounder, giving him access to dogs for breeding.) Later, Otto Goeller and Philip Gruening continued to develop the breed to become the dog that is seen today.

The breed is believed to have been created from several different breeds of dogs that had the characteristics that Dobermann was looking for, including the Pinscher, the Beauceron, the Rottweiler, the Thuringian Shepherd Dog, the black Greyhound, the Great Dane, the Weimaraner, the German Shorthaired Pointer, the Manchester Terrier and the German Shepherd Dog. The exact ratios of mixing, and even the exact breeds that were used, remains uncertain to this day, although many experts believe that the Doberman Pinscher is a combination of at least four of these breeds. The single exception is the documented cross with the Greyhound. It is also widely believed that the German Shepherd gene pool was the single largest contributor to the Doberman breed. The book entiled, "The Dobermann Pinscher," written by Philip Greunig (first printing in 1939), is generally considered the foremost study of the development of the breed by the most ardent students of the breed.

6. Famous Doberman Pinschers

* Bingo von Ellendonk - first Dobermann to score 300 points (perfect score) in Schutzhund.
* Ch. Cambria Cactus Cash - Sired over 125 AKC champions.
* Graf Belling v. Grönland - first registered Dobermann.
* Ch. Toledobe's Serenghetti - Top winning working and conformation bitch of all time

7. Fictional Doberman Pinschers

* The Amazing Dobermans movie
* Devil, from the Burke series of novels by Andrew Vachss.
* Roscoe and DeSoto, from Oliver & Company.
* Zeus and Apollo, "The Lads" from Magnum, P.I.
* Sniper and Bill, from Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin.
* Lector and Thunder from Ginga Densetsu Weed.
* Blade, from the Batman cartoon series
* The Master's Devil Dog in Manos: The Hands of Fate
* On some episodes of The Simpsons, Mr. Burns' "hounds" resemble Dobermanns.
* Cerberus, a zombie dog from the Resident Evil (discluding Resident Evil 4)
* Blitz from Road Rovers
* Pokémon like Houndour and Houndoom are possibly based on a Doberman Pokemon, but may have been inspired by Cerberus or other legends of hellhounds.


Copyright (c) 2008 Kitt Killion Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".


Taken or modified, in whole or part, from Wikipedia.org